Sunday, December 21, 2014

Limiting land use is Important too

After getting through a few good environmentalist books recently I have realized that: my biggest gripe with the environmentalist movement today is they seem to under-value the importance of using land efficiently.

For example, if it is possible to feed the world with organic food but the total land required will be 25% higher than with conventional crops that is a loss for the environment. The gains which come from less pollution will be completely eaten up by the fact that we will need to bulldoze over native habitats.

In the energy world, if it is necessary to cover large areas of the earth with wind or solar farms we would be far better off by simply going with nuclear power. The small risks from a bunch of radioactive elements stored in a desert mountain are negligible compared to the damage which will come from ripping up desert ecosystems for space to put solar panels.

With urban planning, higher density cities, which environmentalists have historically fought against, require less land to be destroyed to make way for homes and offices. Manhattan style tall skyscrapers packed close make the most efficient use of space, leaving the most space possible for nature. Also, subways are the best form of transit because not only can they be operated off of electricity but because unlike cars they take no land away from wildlife.

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